When did New Frontier "Jump the Shark"?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Nathan, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm finishing up Blind Man's Bluff -- and its turning into a speed read, and it down right suxs.

    Just looking back, I can't believe how much New Frontier went down hill. Yeah, I'm sure there are folks out there who love the series and that it has a place in Trek Lore.

    I guess I equate New Frontier to the DS9 Episodes that feature the Ferengi. Probably not the greatest of episodes but there are some highpoints, but mostly clunkers episodes as a whole.

    I thought when New Frontier first came out, it had a lot of potential. I like how it drew Selar, Shelby and Robin Lefler of characters that we already knew.

    Also liked Calhoun and Soleta as well so the series had a bunch of potential.

    Guess with Robin's mother -- Morgan -- took over the computer as her "Consciousness" and McHenry (who had potential) turned out to be some super-being...just really then it jumped the shark.

    Even tho' the plot device of M'ress and Arex (the 3 armed guy) was a little weak, I thought that would get the series off of life support. Even the addition of Kat Mueller was great, but it seemed to be sputtering on corny-ness.

    No wonder how this series just suddenly ended. It just seemed Peter David was "phone-ing it in" towards the end.

    Just wondering if other people felt the same way about the series, that it generally when down hill after the first few books.

    -- Your thoughts?
     
  2. NotLKH

    NotLKH Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I only read the last two or three novels, and I never had a low opinion of Peter Davids writing.

    However, it was my understanding that the whole of the series was of a "comic book" quality, in terms of concept at the very least.

    Exactly when did that "bird" hatch from a planetary body anyways?
     
  3. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Personally, I think the series lost its way after Missing in Action. I enjoyed the time skip of After the Fall and I liked how Missing in Action tied itself in with Nemesis through Soleta's little arc. (I also particularly enjoyed how the two named warbirds that confront her Spectre are ships that we'll "later" see as part of Donatra's fleet - a rare moment of reciprocal continuity for New Frontier). After that successful jump forward, though, it was as though the series didn't know where to go. Once the Priatian issue was resolved, what direction would the series take itself in? Once the interest in seeing where everyone was and how they were doing wore off, what could the series do with this new status quo? I mean, we have the New Thallonian Protectorate now, which is fantastic, but nothing gets done with it - because we keep jumping instead to new super-powerful adversaries that have less and less to do with the conflicts that defined the original setting. After Si Cwan died, it was as though the story of Thallonian space and the crew's purpose there came to an end, at least as far as the narrative was concerned. The narrative doesn't in fact seem to care that much about the Thallonians.

    Other interesting set-ups were quickly abandoned over the next two books, to my disappointment. Soleta had her nemesis/lover and then he was killed off in the next story (not that I expected the relationship to last, of course, but I was disappointed in how quickly it was all undone).

    If I had to name one story element that was the nail in the coffin in terms of my enjoyment of the series, I'd have to say it was Si Cwan's ghost, to be honest. That deflated for me the impact of his death, which I had felt quite keenly. I loved how we saw his ghost silently interact with Kalinda at the end of Missing in Action. That felt right, and there was still an ambiguity to it since only Kalinda could see him. We know Kalinda can talk with the dead, and while we'd never seen a ghost manifest to her visually before (as far as I can remember), she was very close to her brother, so I accepted it. The fact that he doesn't speak and it's clearly all in her mind (not the same as not being real, of course - probably :shifty:) leaves me comfortable with the scene. But then Si Cwan comes back in Treason, in a way that doesn't even explore the sense of what his new existence might be like. It finally crosses the line. It entirely negates the emotional impact of his death if he's going to continue being a character - indeed, the same character, with no sense that dying might have changed anything.

    I always enjoyed New Frontier, as an interesting and deliberately wacky take on Star Trek, and Peter David wrote the characters well. In the last few books, though, it seems to have descended into something directionless, with too little in the way of coherent plot or well-defined character arcs to keep the corny jokes and the dialogue-inserted-solely-for-the-sake-of-setting-up-those-jokes from grating on me.

    I'd like to see the characters again, though. I also appreciate the semi-regular sightings of Thallonians in David Mack novels (and references to Danteri, Xenexian flora, etc).
     
  4. zarkon

    zarkon Captain Captain

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    New Frontier was AMAZING right up until the timeskip for me. Everything from ATF onwards is fairly fun, but not a patch on the pre-timeskip books. Stone & Anvil, the last pre-timeskip book was absolutely superb.
     
  5. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    The Thor incident. I mean, seriously...

    --Sran
     
  6. Wally

    Wally Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Agreed. I hadn't read all the earlier ones, but found them enjoyable. However, "After the Fall" I thought was substandard and I couldn't get into the story one bit and didn't care for the new direction of the characters. I think I read 1 book after that, the title escapes me, but that was my last. The series had totally lost it's footing and IMHO never recovered.
     
  7. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree, the time skip was the point where things started falling apart. Having the Excalibur and Trident was close, the difficulties of juggling two crews of characters, but he seemed to be figuring it out, and then he jumps forward a few years, adds Bravo Station and Robin, Si Cwan, and Kalinda on New Thallon, and it was just too many balls in the air for the story to be juggled properly.

    That said, I've still enjoyed the series from After The Fall on. But while I want the cliffhanger from Blind Man's Bluff resolved, I'd also be content with that serving as the finale for the New Frontier line, at least for the time being (I've never liked being left hanging, so ending it at BMB doesn't work well for me). It feels like the magic is gone, for lack of a better way of putting it.
     
  8. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    End Game...
     
  9. ryan123450

    ryan123450 Commodore Commodore

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    ^ Dang thats what I was going to say.
     
  10. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I have to agree with the people who said it was the time jump. There were a couple clunkers for me before that, with Cold Wars being the biggest. I honestly don't remember exactly what it was about CW that bugged me, I just remember that I didn't really like it. But things really went down hill once he jumped forward. I still thought they were pretty good, but with the cast spread so thin, it really lost something.
     
  11. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Agreeing with me doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong...
     
  12. vegaslover62

    vegaslover62 Commander Red Shirt

    I remember when Peter David said that he wanted to avoid "backsliding" by having characters' careers evolve and not have them on the same ship and holding the same position for books on end, but that's precisely what made all the TV series so great. We liked seeing how all these crewmembers interacted and got the job done, but I think it all fell apart when they all grew apart.
     
  13. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not seeing the characters appreciably change over a seven-year span like on TNG and Voyager was "great"? Really?
     
  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    I love, love, love "New Frontier" and, when Arex and M'Ress were added to the zany mix in "Cold Wars", I couldn't believe my luck.

    "Stone and Anvil" was, indeed the high point for the series. I hated losing Janos in the ongoing narrative, but what a triumph of an ending!

    For me the ho hum bit was Selar's son. Disappointingly, he was drawn resembling an adult full-Vulcan in the comics (I'd imagined him a little more exotic), but I hated the hyper aging trope, which we'd already witnessed with Alexander, Naomi - and even fully-human Molly!

    I didn't mind the time jump, but agree not enough was made of the drastic changes. The Robin Lefler storyline just got wilder and wilder, esp. with Si Cwan's death. Sadly, the finale of the story arc with Robin's immortal mother had already been done in "Dreadstar", a Peter David-written comic I used to follow. (Ironically, I started reading "Dreadstar" only because when the Star Trek Office demanded that PAD remove Arex and M'Ress from Issue #1 of his Series II "Star Trek" comic for DC, and replace them with Fouton and M'yra, good ol' M'Ress was reborn as a felinoid alien called Cookie in "Dreadstar".)

    I also wish Selar's backstory had embraced the inclusion of the blind Andorian girl she adopted in the AC Crispin TNG novel, "The Eyes of the Beholders". That was an intriguing development left abandoned.
     
  15. Nathan

    Nathan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Almost done with Blind Man's Bluff...and it still suxs. Was thinking how Peter David teamed up Soleta and Seven for part of the story line, and even that fell flat. Sheesh, a Soleta & Seven story coulda had great potential.

    Forget till reading above about how PD had the Trident and Excalibur crew working together. Again, what great potential considering the characters of Soleta, Shelby, Mueller, & Selar. Even tho' I'm a not a great fan of Arex & M'Ress, it woulda added to the story.

    Yep, it prolly tough jugglin' both crews....coulda been a nice duology/trilogy to get said what needed to be said for storyline purposes.

    At any rate, about 50 pages to before I can put a fork in the book.

    Again, what a wasted opportunity as essentially New Frontier "self-imploded."
     
  16. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    I loved New Frontier when it started, and continued to love it until they did the whole time jump thing. It was jarring and didn't inspire the love for the series that existed beforehand.

    I was not a fan of what happened to McHenry...i was not a fan of the whole "western" thing going on with Calhoun in the Excalibur trilogy...Xyon hyper-aging was not something i dug. Saying all that, i still love reading Calhoun and would welcome more stories by PAD or someone else even.

    As i've said before when this topic comes up, I'd love it if David Mack brought us some NF stories. I like that he mentions Calhoun & The Excalibur people once in awhile; and i loved his Kebron story in the NF anthology from the early 2000's.
     
  17. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Strange. I often feel like I was the only one who liked "EXcalibur: Restoration". I'm not a fan of westerns, but I enjoyed every word of this book. I even bought it in both hardcover and paperback reprint so as not to wreck the numbering of my MMPB collection.
     
  18. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    I didn't like Restoration either. Sadly, that's about all I can remember about it.
     
  19. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes.

    "Growth" and "change" are not always good things.
     
  20. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You are not allowed to say that.

    I was told so at work...